Shopping blog postings

Shopping Postings

Earliest: December 13, 2003Latest: December 8, 2019Total: 67
August 4, 2015

Swiss Gear Laptop Backpack

I have taken the MBTA commuter rail to work for the past four years. During that time, I have used several different types of bags to carry my laptop and my lunch. I have used my LL Bean hand held bag, a Targus laptop bag and a small non-laptop bag. The best bag that I have used is the Swiss Gear Laptop Backpack.

The SINPAID Laptop Backpack Notebook Business Bag Travel (SA 1908) has been well tested as the perfect MBTA commuter rail bag. It has handled many brutal winters where it was put down on many salty commuter rail platforms and still works and looks awesome.

There are a couple of slots to keep an umbrella (wet or dry) so that's always available. I never have to worry about checking the weather because I have a nice practical umbrella that opens fast. It's been used a lot of times in heavy rain and wind storms.

Some of my lunches have leaked a little in the main compartment of the bag bag on my morning journey. The bag is very easy to clean and doesn't smell. I don't have to worry about my laptop or papers from getting dirty.

I keep a USB charger in the bag with a couple of cables. This has come in handy for those extended train delays during this past winter. I needed to charge my phone and Amazon Kindle devices since the cold air was draining the batteries faster than they should.

If you looking for a bag, or a perfect gift for a commuter, consider getting the bag. You can find it in Amazon, Staples or at a Swiss store. Make sure to include an umbrella and USB charger as a nice touch! You will find that it will get a lot of miles out of it.

March 23, 2015

Olympus Retractable Lens Cap Protector

Last month, I purchased an "Auto Retractable Lens Cap Protector for Olympus XZ-1 XZ-2 XZ1 XZ2" for my Olympus XZ-2 iHS camera on eBay. I got it for $5.13 including shipping. About $20 less than what I found for similar items on

The retractable lens has worked out very well and has protected the camera from any foreign objects. However, one of the flaps appears to have lost it's spring and isn't closing all that well. I am guessing this is when people tell me that "You get what you paid for."

I have been able to get around the issue by double checking to make sure that the lens are complete closed before I put the camera away in my jacket. So far, that has worked well. The only problem that I do see is that when the weather get's warmer I'll be wearing a different jacket, so it might be a good opportunity to get another Lens Cap Protector.

I do use my Olympus XZ-2 iHS camera a lot and having the lens protector is so much better than using a standard lens that just hangs from the camera.

December 18, 2014

Olympus XZ-2 iHS

Today I learned that the Olympus XZ-2 iHS camera is now discontinued. The last listed price was $599, they did have it on sale early in the Fall for $299.

There are still plenty of online dealers that are still selling the Olympus XZ-2 iHS for the $599 price. I am guessing that Olympus is gearing up to announce some new camera at the CP+ 2015 show in Japan

September 3, 2014


Today I learned:

There are two basic types of unpopped popcorn. Movie theaters generally sell butterfly popcorn, which expands vertically from the hull with "wings." Mushroom pops from the bottom of the hull upward, into a tight ball. The popcorn you get at the fair is usually pop up as Mushroom.

In Addition, did you know:

Most Movie theaters use to use Coconut Oil in their Popcorn. If your looking for the best Popcorn kernels I would suggest getting your popcorn from Fireworks Popcorn Company.

November 19, 2013

Classic Stores of New England

I was looking around for some old stores that use to be in the Boston area, here's a list that I came up with:

  • Ames
  • Bradlees
  • Caldor
  • Child World
  • Circuit City
  • CompUSA
  • Computer City
  • Lechmere
  • Service Merchandise
  • Zayers

October 9, 2013

AmazonBasics USB A to Lightning Compatible Cable

I ran into an issue using the AmazonBasic's USB A to Lightning Compatible Cable with the latest iPhone 5s. My music and video got deleted from my phone when I left it connected to the computer overnight. The data wasn't gone from the phone as it was still using the disk space.

I am not sure exactly what happened, as the cable was working find for a couple of weeks. I don't know if Apple did an updated that changed the Lightning code to make this cable in effective.

Recently I notice an alert on the phone that said, "Accessory may not be supported." So I am guessing that this cable is no longer a charging and data transfer cable.

I solved my missing music and videos issue by connecting the iPhone 5s with the Apple cable that came in the box. Within minutes iTunes recognized the issue and put the music and video back.

My advice would be to get the cable to use as the wall charger and use the cable that came in the box as the computer charger.

September 26, 2012

Best Buy Shopping

Recently the media has been talking about how Best Buy has become the show room for buyers. They are right for a lot of situations. Here's an example:

Last month during the tax free weekend in Massachusetts, we decided to get a new digital camera. We decided to check out a couple of stores to see what they had in stock for SLR camera.

Our first stop was Office Depot, we were also there for stationary shopping, and they had a fairly small selection. In fact the sales person didn't try to sell us any camera. They did asked if we needed help but were clueless to the details of the different cameras they had in stock.

The next stop brought us over to Best Buy in Framingham. We spent time looking at various SLR cameras but found them to be too complex and we decided that changing the camera lens isn't something that we were going to do on a regular bases. In looking at various point and shoot cameras, we found a nice Sony HX200V camera. We were impress with the zoom, in fact we were able to zoom to a ladder half way across the store and easily read the words on the steps.

I quickly looked up the price of the camera and saw that it was $80 cheaper on Amazon. We talked to the sales person about this and they told us that they would price match cameras on a case-by-case bases. When I showed him my iPhone with the price, he took out his phone did a quick search and walked away. He came back and said that he would price match Amazon.

We were very impressed with that. We saved a lot of money and was able to get the camera right away. We had no idea of the exact camera that we wanted and was able to get the lowest price available. We probably wouldn't have gotten that camera if we didn't have the opportunity to play with it and compare it to other cameras. We liked the features of the camera and how it fits in our hands.

The moral of the story is when you go to Best Buy, don't be afraid to ask if they price match to Amazon, or other online retailers.

September 25, 2012

Recently I have been getting the following text messages from Verizon:

FREE VZW Message. 2nd notice: Your Pix Place account has been inactive for 170 days.
Log onto within 10 days or your content will be deleted.

Thank you Verizon. I am pretty sure that if I haven't use the service in the past 170 days that its not something that I'll be missing. There was probably something about it that I decided it wasn't worth going back.

Stop sending me text message about it.

April 28, 2012

Kindle Owners' Lending Library

From Amazon's Website:

The Kindle Owners' Lending Library allows eligible U. S. Amazon Prime members who own Kindle devices to choose from thousands of books to borrow for free -- including more than 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers -- as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.

Basically what Amazon is saying, is that Prime Members get up to 12 free book rentals a year. Make sure you make a good selection on what books you rent. I read some places online where someone rented a children's book, and now they have to wait till next month to rent another book.

Make no mistake, there are good choices in Amazon's Prime library, just remember that what ever you select, that you have to wait until next month to select another book.

April 12, 2012

Send to Kindle

Have you ever browse the web and found an article that you would like to read at a later time on your Kindle? For example, let's say you found a great article about Who really found the Titanic? and you wanted to read it offline on your Kindle. There is an easy way to get web content onto your Kindle.

There is app called, 'Send to Kindle' that makes it really easy to send Web content to your Kindle. You can setup this App in Chrome or Firefox very quickly. What's great is that anytime you find an article that you want to read later on your Kindle, you simply click a button. You just have to remember to sync your Kindle before heading out.

I find it great for researching CSS3 topics or when I find a long article and want to read it on the train. Here are some resources where you can find some good content to read:

You can be creative in your Google/Bing search too:

  • Project Blue Book - You heard of it? But have you actually read it?
  • Lincoln Conspiracy
  • JFK Umbrella man
  • Missing Gold of Atlanta
  • Unsolved Mysteries of Boston

As you can see there's a lot of cool content out there, you won't have to worry about buying books on Try 'Send to Kindle' out and you'll find it to be a great productivity saver.

From the product description page:
Send to Kindle is a Browser extension for Kindle owners who prefer reading web content on their devices. It?s designed to offer a quick way for pushing web content to Kindle, so you can read articles or news later on your device.

You can download the app here: